From Restoration Living:
You reference the need for regular evaluation and re-evaluation of our ‘script’ (pg. 10). What does this look like for you personally? What are some warning signs that re-evaluation is needed?
Frank Viola: I’ll give one example (there are others in the book).
As a young believer, I was taught that God is obligated to fulfill His promises in His Word. He is bound by them. As I grew in my walk with the Lord, I encountered events in my own life (and in the lives of other Christians) where God didn’t seem to be faithful to His Word.
I’ve had good friends–very devout Christians–who weren’t healed. Some of them passed away as the result of sickness. In those situations, the Lord’s grace didn’t seem to be sufficient.
During those times, I met a God who refused to meet my expectations. I met a God who didn’t seem to fulfill His own promises.
All Christians will someday meet this aspect of the Lord if they haven’t already. And simply saying that the person in question just didn’t have enough faith is often a cop-out. Doubt can certainly throw an obstacle in the way of God’s movement in a person’s life (the NT gives many examples of this). But in the cases I am referencing, I believe faith was present.
Through the years, I’ve watched many believers fall away from the Lord when they met this aspect of God. Their attitude was, “I tried Jesus, but it just doesn’t work.” Or “God isn’t good after all.” Or “ever since I’ve been a Christian, I’ve missed great opportunities, and my life has gotten worse. Following Jesus isn’t worth it.”
So instead of grabbing overly-simplistic answers to explain the complexity and mystery of God’s working, I had to “revise” my theology.
As a result, I learned about the deeper ways of God in the area of suffering, testing, and walking through fire. I discovered the meaning of “My grace is sufficient” even when all human reason screamed that it was not.
In short, I met the God of Resurrection. A God who takes away that He might establish. A God whose ways are higher and deeper than my own. This is the God that the Scriptures reveal to us. So it seems to me anyway.